Notes: Set somewhere between the events of 1st and 2nd season TOS. References “City on the Edge of Forever”, “Operation Annihilate” and “This Side of Paradise”. Originally published in 1983 in the print fanzine Entercomm #6, edited by Jackie F.
We walk in silence. Steps take us past
a rainspattered pool. The rainbow arc
swept up across the violet sky,
a vibrant light. The pattern caused by
fallen leaves lay across our path
in swirls of gold. An abstract pattern moved
in brief places by the changing wind.
You turn to me. Your dark eyes show
much more than I think you even know.
It wasn't long ago you said
you did not know of human ways --
enough, at least, to know the words
that humans share in times like these.
But you thought -- you felt -- you understood,
and offered any help you could.
That offer was not made with ease.
I remember another time when these
words were spoken. A time you said
you understood, when Sam was dead.
I guess I can't accept it all.
You aren't alone in building walls.
I never got the chance to ask --
Rephrase that -- I never made the time,
because I didn't know the words to speak,
to ask you why you made the choice.
I saw you with her, saw your eyes.
Peace and happiness -- laid bare.
I didn't have a choice, of course.
And you agreed, once healed of all
the human love that Leila woke.
I never asked you how you felt
about the leaving. Of her world.
Of her love. And of her.
It was all the surface things you said.
You knew where all your duty lay.
A Vulcan's loyalty is his soul.
I have that, at least. At most. At best.
Once breached, the surface is not whole.
How deep I cut with the words I chose
is something else I'll never know.
Days disappear. The mundane things
that occupy the bits of time
fly by. It's easy not to ask at all.
Some things are better left unsaid.
I'm glad, at least, I took the time
for that brief, "I'm sorry". Your eyes
replied. As for the rest,
I guess I didn't want to know.
The lightest wind combs through your hair...
a black as deep as the darkest night.
Her hair was thus; did you see the way
it frothed like a cloud, a storm
over the sunlight calm, the peace
of her eyes which saw so much.
She said. You said. Let me help.
I can't help but compare your words
or wonder at that echo there.
We sit. Your hands rest on your knee.
(I close my eyes. I almost see
those same hands reaching out for me.)
It's gotten better now, you know.
I used to dream near every night.
(I'd like to ask if you dream of her,
If you understand, like you say you do.
If you understand what I barely know.)
I'm glad we got this chance to rest.
Seeing the past, not the danger that's next.
I'm really glad to be here with you.
I needed some time to think this through.
The sun is setting. It's time to go.
Above the mountains the moons hang low.
The last light thrown cross the fiery sky
reflects in the warm brown of your eyes.
I always turn and find you there.
But it's not that long. Less than two years.
Would saying it help? I think you know.
I've seen you when your defences fell.
Have you seen me? Or have we both
only discovered the first
of the layers wrapped tightly, wound down
and around the more hidden corners
and secret places in our souls?
(Some things are better left alone.)
When did I see it? What made clear
what before I had not known was there?
A thousand instances when
I turned to you and called you friend,
and saw the words you could not speak
shine from the light within your eyes.
Or is it now, when the words come out
and I remembered her and spoke
of that time when I thought I knew
what commitment was; what love could do.
Her face before me, her smile, her eyes,
are not quite as clear as yours.
I thought the space you had to cross
much vaster than my own. And yet,
in all honesty, it's not
as easy now to make this move.
I love. I hurt. She died. I mourn.
I would have given my life for her.
(I would give my life for you.)
You don't know my ways. I don't know yours.
But you made a move before I
thought to meet you halfway there.
You think you understand. Do I?
What really lies behind your eyes?
Or is what I now think I see
a misinterpretation of
a Vulcan's loyalty. Does this translate
in human terms, to human love?
Or do I simply mistake the signs,
misled by my too-human heart?
The fiery sky has yielded now
to a cloud-swathed darkness. Shifting forms
reveal the spaces in between.
Unhindered, stars burn straight through.
I won't forget the words she said.
By my side always. Well, my friend,
you in your place, and I in mine.
Let's walk here for this moment's time.